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On Mon, 13 Jun 2011, Lorenzo Donati wrote:

If the start character must be something unused in Lua, there are few alternatives among ASCII: #, $, |, &, ?, !, `. Probably the best bets are # and $, since the other may better serve as operators in Lua 9.5 :-P :-)

I'd just like to point out here that $ is traditionally used in system
symbol names under VMS. I've already been tempted to tweak my personal
copy of Lua to allow it so that I can easily grind through a system header file and make a table that maps symbol names to numbers.
roger ivie